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Wonder Women Review: Anjali Menon’s Tale on Expecting Mothers Has Its Heart in Right Place


In one of the scenes of Wonder Women, debutante actress Sayonara Philip’s character Saya says, “I am not a Goddess, I am just a woman. A moody, irritable woman.” Anjali Menon’s film, which revolves around six pregnant women, tells its viewers that it is okay to go through all kinds of fear, confusion, anxiety and irritation when one chooses to be a mother. The film does not have a preachy approach or throw overwhelming details about pregnancy and motherhood at its audience. Instead, it is a happy and warm tale following six different women from different walks of life- connected by their pregnancy.

The wonder women of this film- Mini (Parvathy Thiruvothu), Veni (Padma Priya), Nora (Nithya Menen), Gracy (Archana Padmini), Jaya (Amruta Subhas) and Saya (Sayonara Philip) arrive at Nandita’s (Nadiya Moidu) pre-natal class with their own beliefs and confusions and end up discovering themselves in a better way. All these women come from different backgrounds and have different circumstances from each other. One of them has gone through two miscarriages and is anxiously waiting for the birth of her baby. Another one is a single mother while we see another woman carrying a child outside marriage.

The film does not get into exploring the different backdrops of these women but very plainly shows that there is nothing wrong with feeling vulnerable. In the prenatal class ‘Sumana,’ the women get to discuss their feelings and emotions and also bond with one another. Parallelly, we are also given a glimpse of their families and their relationships with their respective partners.

One of the scenes I found worth remembering and thinking over is when at the end of their first class, the women note down how they are feeling. When Nandita asks them at the beginning of the class to describe their emotions, all of them go with happy and positive ones but later changes to emotions such as anxiousness, nervousness and confusion. Except Mini, who writes that she is feeling nothing. Despite being a feel-good film, the director never forces happiness or tells the characters of her story to be joyous all the time because they are creating life.

Even at the end, there is a disagreement between Mini and Nora, where the former says she cannot pretend everything is fine unlike the latter. However, she is not reprimanded for her apparent tough exterior nor is her character forced to change into a more pleasing one. The film gives enough space to its women to decide their own journey and acceptance is given to emotions that can make one uncomfortable.

Another remarkable scene in the film was when the women got to bring their husbands and partners to the prenatal class. What makes the scene important is it shows how men view parenthood and how it is so different from the way we women view it. And it all comes down to the different conditioning of men and women. In the scene, the soon-to-be parents are made to hold a doll of a baby which they treat as their children. Veni’s husband admits that he does not know anything about what’s going on and that his wife is more equipped than him when it comes to parenthood. He also shares that the first time he held a doll as a child, he was scolded so one can’t expect him to learn everything about parenthood in a day.

On the whole, Anjali Menon’s film shows that one doesn’t need to have a complicated story or hard-hitting scenes to make a point. Even a simple story can make its viewers think and retrospect if it comes from a place of honesty and love for storytelling.

Wonder Women is streaming on Sony Liv.



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